Vermonter Peggy Shinn still recalls the surprisingly inspiring moment six years ago when the U.S. women’s cross-country ski team finished a World Cup relay in fifth place.

Most people, seeing other nations take the podium, wouldn’t think much of the result.

But Shinn, a Rutland resident who writes for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s website, realized it was exponentially faster than any American time before.

“Whoa, do they have new skis?” she wondered. “Are they eating spinach?”

Shinn proposed answering the question in a book — “World Class: The Making of the U.S. Women’s Cross-Country Ski Team” — and aiming its release for the 2018 Winter Olympics. But with only one national medal ever in the sport — Vermonter Bill Koch’s silver in 1976 — many had doubts.

Then this year’s women grabbed gold in the team sprint.

Read more at (Vermont writer strikes gold with Olympic book)

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